Pittsburgh Sports Now continues a look at players that made unofficial visits to Pitt for their opener vs. Virginia this past Saturday.
Blane Cleaver (6’3”, 205) is a junior linebacker from Berwick, Pennsylvania who’s been talking with Pitt and received an invitation from tight ends coach Tim Salem.
Cleaver is still looking for that Power Five offer and it would be a dream come true if it came from the Panthers.
”This was my second time in Pittsburgh,” said Cleaver. “Last year, I went as a guest with one of my teammates. When I got the invitation from Coach Salem to come vs. Virginia I jumped at it. Actually, I was supposed to attend the West Virginia game but I canceled that so I could go to Pitt.”
I asked Cleaver if anything was different this year as opposed to last year?
”The most amazing thing from my standpoint was, I’m not being selfish or anything but, I was going as the player being recruited so I got a different perspective. It’s cool when coaches are able to come up to you and say Hi, thanks for coming, we look forward to you coming back.”
While Cleaver wasn’t able to have any substantial conversations with the coaches because it was a game day, he has been getting great feedback from Salem over the last year.
“He likes the way I play, he says I’m very aggressive head on,” said Cleaver. “I’m a clean player that gets the job done. Coach Salem is just awesome and makes me laugh all the time. I always like how blunt he is and is very straight forward about the things I need to work on and these are the things we like about you. That’s the kind of coach I like.”
— Blane Cleaver (@blane_cleaver) August 31, 2019
As far as the constructive criticism he’s received from Salem, Cleaver told me that they’d like to see him add some weight especially since he plays middle linebacker. Currently, Cleaver ways 210 and Pitt would like to see him get to 225.
Aside from Pitt, the schools showing the most interest are Syracuse, West Virginia and Michigan State and while he’d appreciate an offer from any school, an offer from Pitt would be special.
“If Pitt were to offer, honestly they’d be my top school. I live in Berwick, it’s a four hour drive to Pittsburgh, my family could make it out to see me. Plus, the overall atmosphere at Pitt makes me feel like I’m at home. What they have going on there is special and I’d be more than happy to be apart of it.”